LANSING, MICH. - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said Wednesday he will wait until sentencing hearings for Larry Nassar are completed in both Ingham and Eaton counties before announcing his plans for a review of MSU's role in the sex abuse scandal.
Schuette, speaking on "Michigan's Big Show," a syndicated radio program hosted by Michael Patrick Shiels, said now is the time for Nassar's victims to speak and "I'm not going to upstage them."
Nassar, an MSU doctor who has pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges and state-level sexual assault charges, is accused of abusing more than 150 girls and young women, most of them MSU gymnasts, under the guise of providing medical treatment.
His sentencing hearing in Ingham County Circuit Court is expected to conclude today, in its seventh day before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.
Schuette, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, said Nassar's next sentencing hearing, in Eaton County Circuit Court, is expected to get under way next week.
"Once that's done, there will be an immediate announcement," Schuette said.
He said he will call for "a full review, a transparent report, and recommendations so this never happens again."
Last week, the MSU Board of Trustees, which along with President Lou Anna Simon is under fire for not adequately investigating complaints about Nassar and not acting more quickly to stop the abuse, asked Schuette to conduct a review.
Schuette, who has faced criticism for not investigating MSU's role in the abuse scandal sooner, said on the radio program that he and his team "nailed Nassar" on sexual assault charges and he made sure, as part of his plea agreement, that every Nassar victim who wanted to speak at his sentencing hearing had an opportunity to do so.
House Speaker Tom Leonard, D-DeWitt, appearing with Schuette on the same radio program, said an investigation is absolutely needed. "We need to know who knew what, when they knew it," said Leonard, a Republican candidate for attorney general.
Leonard, who called for Simon's resignation in December, blasted MSU trustees Wednesday and said "if they won't step up and do their jobs, they need to step down as well."
He criticized the "arrogance," and "tone deafness" of MSU trustees — an apparent reference to comments Tuesday by Trustee Joel Ferguson, who scoffed at the idea of an NCAA investigation over what he described as "this Nassar thing." He later apologized.
Leonard said he was glad to hear the NCAA is now prepared to investigate MSU over the Nassar scandal.
"Maybe, just maybe, these guys might start waking up if they find out they might lose scholarships," he said.
Trustees "have put sitting in a skybox, four days a year at a football game, above these ladies."
Contact Paul Egan: 517-372-8660 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @paulegan4.
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